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Bibliophilic Monologues

House of Shadows

House of Shadows - I was bitterly disappointed by this book. Not because it was bad but because the synopsis led me astray, in fact, it cheated me. If you read the synopsis, you will think the main characters of the novel are Karah and Nemienne when nothing could be further from the truth. Karah is beautiful. And innocent. And that’s about it. She is portrayed as this guileless, naïve character who doesn’t know better than to be wary of strangers and of people who mean her harm. She is that annoying girl who is beautiful as well as super nice and whom you can’t hate without hating yourself. We do not get to know her as a character, actually, she doesn’t have much character to speak of. And then there is Nemienne who is much more promising but ultimately ends up as a side character without the importance that one would think she has considering her presence in the synopsis of the novel. She doesn’t do anything, heck she doesn’t even appear in the narrative – I would have to say she’s only present in a quarter of the book if all her appearances are brought together and quantified.The true main characters are the bardic sorcerer and Leilis, the failed Keiso. It is not that they are not intriguing or make for better protagonists – they do – but I was expecting a book about these two women. And I didn’t get it. And it annoyed the crap out of me because I spent the entire narrative waiting for either Karah or Nemienne to step up and reclaim their voices or make their voices sound stronger and of more import than they were shaping up to be. If I were to critique this, I would have to say the book was overly ambitious for one of its length. I needed the conflicts to be better parsed out because they were all so complicated. I needed more in depth exploration of the magic and the mythos. The politics alone would have taken a lot more page time and deservedly so if the book had done justice to it.And most of all, I want to find out who wrote the synopsis and talk to them because I felt cheated. Honestly. So if you are considering reading this book, disregard the synopsis and go into it knowing that it is not about Karah and Nemienne, it is about Leilis, Taudde and the Dragon King. Karah and Nemienne are incidental to the story which would have functioned as well without them.